Alleged net wiretapping plan

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Word is starting to percolate around the net about an alleged plan by the USG to tap the entire net.
The article, which profiles the 65-year-old former admiral appointed by President George W. Bush in January 2007 to oversee all of America's intelligence agencies, was not published on the New Yorker's Web site.

McConnell is developing a Cyber-Security Policy, still in the draft stage, which will closely police Internet activity.

"Ed Giorgio, who is working with McConnell on the plan, said that would mean giving the government the autority to examine the content of any e-mail, file transfer or Web search," author Lawrence Wright pens.

“Google has records that could help in a cyber-investigation, he said," Wright adds. "Giorgio warned me, 'We have a saying in this business: ‘Privacy and security are a zero-sum game.'"

A zero-sum game is one in which gains by one side come at the expense of the other. In other words -- McConnell's aide believes greater security can only come at privacy's expense.

The actual PDF link (http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/documents/WashWire.pdf seems to be broken, which is fishy to say the least.

I don't know what the "authority to examine the content of any e-mail", etc. means. Obviously, the government has the authority to get this information with a search warrant (Google records and emails have been subpenad before) and the feds have had a variety of net tapping technologies (e.g., Carnivore) for a while, so it's not clear what's exactly new here. Obviously, if they want the authority to do this without a warrant, that would be a big change. Is anyone suggesting that? I'm suspending judgement till I see the original article. If anyone has that or a pointer too it, I'd love to see it.

Oh, and this stuff about how security and privacy is a zero sum game. I'm certainly willing to believe there's a tradeoff, but I'd be pretty surprised if it were exactly zero sum. Few things are, and it's pretty hard to believe there's not a point of diminishing returns after which incremental amounts of surveillance only add very small amounts of security.

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